Is Artificial Intelligence the Future of UK Business?

14 April 2020

Artificial intelligence might just be the next big thing in the UK business landscape. It’s already having huge implications for automating processes, efficient data handling, developing insights about customer behaviour and even using machine learning to directly interact with consumers.

A study by Microsoft recently found round 56% of UK businesses are adopting some form of artificial intelligent technology. However, few—only 24 per cent—have a formal AI strategy; with this field advancing so rapidly and the benefits of its adoption becoming increasingly clear, is it time for more UK firms to consider embracing it?

Why become an AI business?

Organisations can transform their business with digitisation. Whether that’s a haulage firm using intelligent tracking systems to protect sensitive cargo and automatically plot out the most efficient route, or a facilities manager using a ‘digital twin’ to simulate how best to use an office buildings, smart technology has closely intertwined itself with the modern business landscape.

The biggest adopters of AI in particular are the high-tech and financial-services sectors, with marketing and sales departments most eagerly embracing it.

Firms that adopt AI are reaping the rewards. According to a survey by management consultants McKinsey, only one per cent of adopters say they have seen no value from artificial intelligent, compared to 41 per cent who have seen significant benefits.

Last year’s winner of the Artificial Intelligence Business of the Year Award was Darktrace, a company utilising mathematics and artificial intelligence to detect and autonomously respond to sophisticated cyberthreats. It is this automation that makes AI so valuable: companies can make programmes automatically respond to certain conditions to make processes more efficient and eliminate human error.

What does the public think?

According to YouGov the UK public is relatively relaxed about the implications of artificial intelligence, despite grim warnings that pop up in the media. Only 9% of Brits are fairly or very worried that their jobs will be automated in the near future; meanwhile, 44% of the public are enthusiastic about the use of AI-driven brand interactions and digital experiences.

It demonstrates the opportunities of AI-led business in the UK, and should reassure firms that the general public are at least neutral—if not optimistic—about artificial intelligence and automation.

Celebrating the best AI businesses

The time is right, then, to reward the businesses adopting and embracing artificial intelligence, digitisation and smart technology. At the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, we reward the UK organisation that has made the most innovative use of artificial intelligence, reaped the rewards and demonstrated a real return on investment.

Last year, Darktrace won among a tough field that included AI-powered planning platform Airts, Atom Learning’s AI-driven education, Streetbees’ customer insight service, and the smart transcription platform from Trint, among others.

Does your organisation have a similar success story to tell? Has your firm adopted artificial intelligence with big results? If your business truly stands out from the crowd, enter the Artificial Intelligence Business of the Year Award to put it to the test against the very best in the field.